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Special Report With Bret Baier

News/Business. Bret Baier. The latest news from inside the Beltway. New.

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U.s. 13, Us 8, Washington 6, Mr. Obama 5, Pentagon 5, America 4, Islam 4, Bosman 3, Iran 3, Obama 3, Iraq 3, Arkansas 3, Florida 3, United States 2, Koran 2, Lincoln 2, Orszag 2, Purina 2, Blanche Lincoln 2, China 2,
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  FOX News    Special Report With Bret Baier    News/Business. Bret Baier. The  
   latest news from inside the Beltway. New.  

    September 10, 2010
    6:00 - 6:59pm EDT  

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>> president obama tells reporters, democrats may pay the price for an unresponsive economy, but again, blames republicans for obstruction. there was a rare kind word from the president toward his predecessor and how islamic radicals are shifting their priorities. live from our studio in washington, this is special report. good evening, i'm bret baier. president obama launched into defense of his administration on a number of issue, first and foremost, the u.s. economy. the president hoping for the best, but bracing for the wor worst. >> reporter: president obama conceded the painfully slow economy may cost the democrats in november. >> for the all the progress we've made, we're not there yet.
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that means the people are frustrated and angry. >> it was his first formal news conference since may and likely the last before voters go to the polls this fall. >> and since i'm the president, and democrats have controlled the house and the senate, it's understandable that people are saying, you know, what have you done. >> reporter: party chairman michael steele was asking what the first thing the republicans might do if they win the house and senate. >> cutting the burdens due to taxes that are pushing down the ability of small businesses to grow, cutting down the spending of this administration. >> reporter: mr. obama defended his plan to let the bush administration tax cuts expire for people making more than $250,000 a year, which republican senator mitch mcconnell said would be quote, raising taxes on hundreds of thousands of small businesses and families across the country. other republicans said it would break mr. obama's own advice about not raising taxes in a recession. steele appealed for at least a temporary extension. >> so that in the middle of
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the recession, those who do have a direct hand in creating jobs have more incentive to go out in the marketplace and to do that. >> reporter: the white house says even a two-year extension would cost $100 million dollars, money the president says could be better spent elsewhere. >> these are the folks that are concerned about the deficits, why would we borrow money on policies that won't help the economy and help people who don't need help? >> on this day, mr. obama announced long time economic advisors austan goolsbee will take over as chairman of economic advisors and takes over for cristina romer and regrets predicting that the last year's stimulus package would keep enplymouth below 8%. it's 9.6 right now and the preside president, they're saying stimulus is a bad word. >> i would sum that's what the republicans think we should do, to stimulate growth and
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jobs. and i will keep on trying to stimulate growth and jobs for as long as i'm president of the united states. >> reporter: the president called on congress to pass a package of business tax incentives when lawmakers return from recess next week. he says their ideas republicans would normally support, but they come at a cost of losing other tax breaks and chamber of commerce says they wouldn't create as many jobs as the president believes. >> bret: wendell, thank you. ongoing tension over islam and concern over terrorism in society. the president tried to emphasize the positive. >> reporter: on the eve of the september 11th anniversary, two controversies have created a volatile mix of religion and politics. the proposed morning near ground zero and a preacher's threat to burn copies of the koran. in the wake of this president obama spoke about the contribution of muslim americans including those serving in the u.s. military
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in harm's way. >> part of honoring their service making sure that they understand that we don't differentiate between them and us. it's just us. >> reporter: mr. obama also paid tribute to his predecessor for showing sensitivity on the issue of religion. >> one of the things that i most admired about president bush was after 9/11, him being crystal clear about the fact that we were not at war with islam. >> reporter: with the recent pew poll showing one third of the country believes the president is a christian, and one in five americans believe he's a muslim, mr. obama spoke about his convictions. >> as somebody who you know, relies heavily on my christian faith in my job, i understand, you know, that the passions that religious faith can
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raise. >> reporter: the president reiterated his position that despite the senstivities of building a mosque near ground zero, americans have to live up to our values of all men and women created equal and freedom of religion. >> what that means, is that if you could build a church on a si site, you could build a synagogue on a site. that you could build a hindu temple on a site. then you should be able to build a mosque on a site. >> reporter: on thursday, secretary of defense, robert gates called florida pastor terry jones, but talked him out of the koran burning. the president thought to avoid aggravating the situation and elevating the pastor's status. >> with respect to the individual down in florida, my hope is that this individual prays on it and refrains from doing it. >> reporter: after promising not to burn the koran, pastor jones since wavered and suggests he's not worried about the possibility of a
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bloody and violent reaction in the muslim world. it's uncertain if jones and imam rauf, will meet on 9/11. >> bret: mike, thanks. an iranian news agency is reporting tonight, iran postponed the release of one of the three americans detained on espionage charges more than a year. earlier the agency had said president ahmadnejad intervened to secure sarah shourd planned saturday release in part because of the special viewpoint on iran on the dignity of women. one day from the 9th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, it appear most americans feel safer now than before that fateful day. 53% in the pew poll felled that way and 30% feel less safe. many believe the terror threat has not eased, but changed. correspondent molly henneberg explains. >> led by the two former chairman of the 9/11
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commission, tom cane and lee hamilton, the bipartisan report on the terrorist threat says islamic radicals are shifting their priorities away from massive 9/11 style attacks, but warns americans not to get complacent. >> the idea to the extent that the american people have it, that this is fading into the past, that's just flat wrong. >> basically less is more. less sophisticated attack conducted more frequently can have as big of a bang for less buck than a real spectacular attack. >> specifically they're concerned about americans, radicalized over the internet or trips overseas and cite the shooting at a little rock recruiting center in june 2009 by an american convert to islam. the fort hood attack by an american born muslim in november of 2009 and the foiled times square bomb plot last may by a naturalized
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pakistani american and should not be viewed as isolated events. we see them as part of a broader strategy, embraced by our adversaries, by al-qaeda, its affiliates and associates to flood us in essence from multiple threats of an array of adversaries. >> president obama says that homeland is vigilent about possible leads. >> they're making sure that what might appear to be a lone individual who has very little organizational capacity, if they make a threat, they follow up. >> but the report warns that may not be enough. >> terrorists may have found our achilles heel. we have no strategy to deal with this growing problem and emerging threat. >> meanwhile, the president said killing osama bin laden is quote, extremely important to our national security. >> doesn't solve all our problems, but it remains a high priority of this administration. >> and also important to the president, closing gitmo. he insists he quote, wanted to close it sooner, but the
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politics of it are difficult. mr. obama, who has pushed for gitmo detainees to be tried in federal courts says he's leaving open the possibility of prosecuting some of them in military tribunals. in washington, molly henneberg, fox news. >> bret: a federal judge says she will issue an order to halt the military's don't ask, don't tell policy. district judge virginia phillips calls it unconstitutional because it violates free speech rights. a conservative gay rights group sued the federal government in 2004 over its ban against gays openly serving in the military. government lawyers say the judge lacks the authority to issue a nationwide injunction. we'll tell you about some capitol hill tax dead beats later in the grapevine. up next, a deep south senator trying to turn her campaign around before it's too late. that can really help protect you. and v8 juice gives you three of your five daily servings.
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>> a massive fire and explosion near san francisco has left at least four people dead. thursday night's blast is believed to be the result of a broken gas line. it sent a firefighter ball more than a thousand feet into the describe. at least 38 houses in the san bruno neighborhood were destroyed. fire crews outside boulder, colorado are said to be holding a massive wildfire there at bay. about 2000 evacuees were briefly allowed to return to the home to retrieve important belongings and medicine. fire burned nearly 170 homes so far forcing evacuations for 3500 residents. flooding from tropical storm hermine continues to leave parts of texas underwater. at least five people have died this week there and one in oklahoma. authorities have switched to recovery mode for a missing female motorist in austin. america's election headquarters focuses tonight on arkansas, and a senator trying to hang on to her job.
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incumbent democrat blanche lincoln sparred with republican challenger in little rock. correspondent james rosen shows us what happened. >> my mom is 88 years old. >> my mom is 81. >> reporter: for the arkansas senate candidates the high noon showdown remained largely a local and often personal affair with incumbent blanche lincoln and john bozman touting hometown routes and she chairs the agricultural committee. 270,000 jobs in this state are associated with agriculture. 16 billion dollars into our economy and 9 billion dollars in wages and salaries and i think it's a critical part of our economy and i think it's worth fighting to are those jobs. >> reporter: bosman cited the razorback days and argued he is the entrepreneur. the idea that we can tax and spend our way to prosperity, i think that's the fundamental difference i have with senator
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lincoln and the administration. >> reporter: senator bosman in most polls double digit and lincoln desperately needs to change the dynamics and her attempts to bloody when it was directly appeared to back fire. >> do you agree that the majority of arkansas, the rights of-- takes precedence or the rights of women. >> i don't know what you're talking about. >> why doesn't you elaborate. >> a bill that provides for. >> what bill are you talking about. >> i don't have the number with me. during your nine years in congress, you have traveled to almost 50 countries at the expense of arkansas taxpayers. >> i've been to iraq i think eight or nine times. i've been to afghanistan four times. i do that to go over and pat our troops on the back, tell them they're doing a great job. >> reporter: in within area, senator lincoln enjoys a decided advantage over her challenger, according to federal election documents filed by both campaigns,
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lincoln at the end of june had 1.9 million dollars left in cash on hand, congressman bosman less than 500,000. bret. >> bret: chams live in little rock, thank you. sarah palin endorsed a tea party candidate in delaware. bitter republican senator primary backing christine o'donnell in her battle against mike castle a favorite of the state republican party. the primary's next tuesday. vermont democrat peter shumlands won a recount. he actually gained six votes to defeat doug racine in the august 24th balloting and will face lt. governor brian duby in november. there's a way to stay on top of the political news, download our american elections app for the iphone the week of election day. currently one of the most popular downloads at the app store. memories of 9/11 for people who were there, that's coming
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>> despite the departure of u.s. combat troops from iraq, there are still special forces left in the fight. the reporter malini wilkes shows us how the special role of american soldiers is changing from leader to follower. . >> reporter: they are highly trained commandos with the best u.s. equipment, the iraqi special operations forces. this is just an exercise in capturing the most dangerous terrorists. the u.s. advisors are watching, but staying out of sight. >> we keep a very small signature. we try to keep them always in the lead. >> reporter: in some cases of
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u.s. special forces partner with the iraqis, side by side all the way through, but more and more, they're hanging back, they call it four. follow, observe and report. former president bush pledged to fight terrorists abroad so we wouldn't have to face them at home. nine years after 9/11, iraqi special forces are key to our counterterrorism efforts here, but should iraqis be leading our war on terror? >> remember, this is a sovereign country. we're from a sovereign country and we have a security agreement between the our two nations. >> commanders say it's been degraded since 2007. >> i fought in fallujah, mosul, face-to-face and changed their tactics, explosions ied's, car bombs. >> reporter: top terrorist leaders killed, their financing limited, but high profile bombings continue with al-qaeda claiming responsibility and its message is bringing foreign fighters to iraq. >> some of them are iraqis. some are saudis, yemenees,
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egyptians, syrians. >> reporter: and they've accused the special forces of using tactics, they call it the dirty brigade and puts it directly under the prime minister's control. u.s. advisors say that the iraqi special forces are the finest in the middle east. >> this is the best unit operational. >> reporter: why do you think that is? >> well, because we've been with them for seven and a half years. >> reporter: thousands of u.s. combat forces left iraq this year, but u.s. special forces have not drawn down. some 4500 remain in iraq. though all american troops are supposed to be gone next year, u.s. and iraqi special forces are likely to have some type of longstanding relationship. >> we've lived together, we eat together, we sleep together. we even fight together, and we have died together. this is a force that's our future and we will remain engaged with em this throughout the years. >> reporter: in baghdad malini wilkes, fox news. >> bret: n.a.t.o. says an air strike killed a senior
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eninsurgent commander and armed militants in afghanistan. meanwhile, the seven month ban on fast food in american retail stores on all u.s. military bases in that country has been lifted. the commander who made the decision told stars and stripes newspaper that he didn't see a problem with troops eating fast food now. countries such as iran, north korea, pose very real security threats for the u.s. there is another threat that has many people quite concerned and more and more people are talking about it. chief washington correspondent jim angle has the story. >> reporter: the u.s. developed a bad habit, running huge debts and borrowing trillions to cover for them. which is not only a financial challenge, but a national security threat. >> it undermines our capacity to act in our own interests and it does con strain us where constraint may be undesirable. and it also sends a message of
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weakness internationally. >> we're losing the ability to chart our own destiny she warned, a view shared by mike mullen who said recently the most significant threat to our national security is our debt. the debt now stands at 13 trillion and is headed straight up and as we keep borrowing we pay more and more in interest. in fact, net interest on the debt will rise from 244 billion in 2011 to 916 billion in 2020. that means we'll be spending more on interest than on defense. paying for from excesses of the past than the future. >> the ability of the united states to project power to secure its borders to do all the things associated with national security depends on its economic strength and debts and deficits either way at the core of any economic strength. >> and the country's economic prowess is central to the standing as a military power. >> i think that's the single most important ingredient, the united states can even militarily we project power
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abroad because of the ability that we have to produce the goods and services that you would ever need to fight a war. >> as we did in world war ii, for instance. >> we ultimately overwhelmed our enemies because we could outproduce them. so, it's vitally important in a military sense, to have a strong home economy. >> having to borrow so much money also raises another question, do big lenders, such as china, gain leverage against us? >> is it very hard for us to say, look, we're not happy with your position about human rights, i'll need more help in north korea, you name it, your options are more limited when you're not calling the shot. >> don't worry china won't lend us less money, nothing aggressive, could sit on the sidelines and could force interest rates up punishing us because we owe so much. there's a bigger issue, emergency happen like 9/11 and being in debt makes it hard to
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react. >> bret: the largest increase in two years, sales up 6/10 of a percentage point following two straight monthly declines. the dow gained 47 1/2 and s&p 500 was up 5. the nasdaq finished ahead 6. you might think the people who help write tax law would at least pay their taxes. the truth of the matter next in the grapevine. the use or misuse of scholarship money is dogging another congressional democrat. ng is done. at e-trade it's harnessing some of the most powerful yet easy to use trading tools on the planet to help diversify, identify opportunities, take action. it's using professional grade research and your brain to seek maximum returns to reach your goals. it's investing with intelligence and cold hard conviction. you made the money. you should have everything you need to invest it. e-trade. investing unleashed.
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>> and now, some fresh pickings from the political grapevine. cost of higher education could get pretty high for one congressman. politico reports georgia democrat sanford bishop awarded three scholarships from the congressional black caucus foundation, to his stepdaughter and his wife's niece is the second. cbc member accused of inappropriately doling out scholarships to relatives. the founder says the cbc required them to certify they're not an a family member, cbcf staff or board of directors or corporate advisory bort or any cbcf sponsored entity and bishop's spokesman says the scholarships in question were awarded before 2008, but the president of citizens for responsibility and ethics in washington says, quote, any
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member of congress should know if there's a chance to award scholarship money, it shouldn't go to family members. capitol hill workers owe more than 9 million dollars in back taxes. "the washington post" reports 638 employees, about 4%, are in arrears. that's 1 percentage point higher than the rest of the country. no affiliates or job titles are released by the irs, but shows the delinquent tax bill for senate workers is almost $13,000 and the average for house bill is around $15,500. utah republican congressman jason cha vits says, if you're on the federal payroll and you're not paying your taxes, you should be fired. talk about a witch hunt. lawmakers proposed a bill to tax witches and fortune tellers to raise moan for the economically hard hit country and witches and fortune tellers would have been
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required to produce receipts and liable for wrong predictions, but they've pulled it, their colleagues were scared of being cursed. as we said earlier, saturday marks the 9th anniversary of the september 11th terror attacks. it seems every american can remember exactly where they were in the first moments. for thousands those memories of personal, painful and clear. >> we will commemorate not only the heart break of september 11th, but also the enduring values and resilient spirit of america. >> bret: nine years later the site where the world trade center stood and the pentagon, where flight 77 slammed into that tragic day, look completely different. for survivors and first responders who were there, and for family members of the victims, the images and sounds are still vivid.
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>> another plane just flew into the second tower. now we understand that there is an explosion or has been an explosion in the pentagon. the heart of the military. >> a lot of people had ran out of the building. i'm realizing that it was pretty bad and i needed to go inside and try to help out as best i could. so i went in and there was downed ceiling tiles, lights, fixtur fixtures, a lot of smoke, no lights, strong diesel smell, very hard to see. >> every time i smell diesel it brings it back to 9/11. >> i used the word chaos, but really, it was controlled chaos situation. i mean, everybody that responded here responded as best they could. >> the first responders tried to get as many people out as possible. dave's family feared from the start he was in his pentagon office when the plane hit. >> one by one we heard from our different family members who could have been at the
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pentagon, my dad, my brother, my uncle and kept waiting by the phone that day to hear from dave. you're sitting there waiting, you know, waiting for a call, waiting to see him walk up the street and then having to watch these horrible events unfold on tv. i just remembered it as being so sick to my stomach and kind of feeling, how can this be happening. he never walked up the street. >> no. >> jim laychak, says for him the image of the fiery pentagon is fading nine years later and focuses on the last conversation with his brother. >> he called me, i was in the car and i pulled over to the side and had the best conversation with him and we were laughing and he can joking and talking about his vacation and what was going on and different things that brothers talk about. >> soon after 9/11, jim was tapped to be the pointman for speaking about and raising money for the pentagon memorial. >> when you come out here and you just kind of have a great sense of pride in the fact
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that, look, we all worked together and we got this done. >> you raised a lot of money in a tough economic time for this memorial. now, your company has down-sized and you're looking for a job. >> right, right. >> bret: it's pretty remarkable. >> there's something else for me to do and it's just a matter of you know, trying to figure that out and you know, it's a humbling experience. >> bret: he's optimistic though, he's been through tougher times. >> what i think about more is celebrating dave's life, thinking about the good things and how can i live my life better, how can i be less of a grouchy dad and a grouchy husband and try to, you know, do the right things, you know, for my family, for his family and just try to, as i said, celebrate and honor his life. >> bret: and check out the memorial if you can over at the pentagon and tune in tonight 10 p.m. eastern and saturday for at 3 and 9 p.m. a time line of terror brought
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to you commercial-free and log on to the home page if you would, a special report for a special look at some 9/11 memorials you haven't seen. president obama makes his case, especially on the economy, to the american people. we'll get reaction to today's news conference from the fox allstars when we come back. robin ] my name is robin.
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"ben, how many days has it been?" "5 days, mom. 10 days, mom." i think after 30 days he got tired of counting. [ male announcer ] talk to your doctor about chantix. find out how you can save money on your prescription and learn terms and conditions at chantix.com. >> i just want to talk a little bit about our continuing efforts to dig ourselves out of this recession and to grow our economy. and what i've got is the republicans holding middle class tax relief hostage because they're insisting we've got to give tax relief tobillion-- billionair billionaires, which would cost 700 billion dollars over the course of ten years. >> bret: president obama in
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his first formal news conference since may and talking about the painfulfully slow economic recovery may cost democrats in november and spent a lot of time also talking about tax cuts and how he wants to let the top tier expire and a tax increase for the top earners. republicans are pointing to something he said a year ago, here it is, quote, the last thing you want to do is raise taxes in the middle of a recession because that was just suck up, take more demand out of the economy and put businesses in a further hole. what about all of this? we'll start with the economy in this panel, let's bring in our panel tonight. steve hays senior writer to for the weekly standard. juan williams for national public radio and syndicated columnist charles krauthammer. charles. >> he made his arguments about the tax cuts. clearly this is what he wants to stake the election on he doesn't want to run on the economy. if it's a referendum on the state of the economy we are going to lose, but what is so obvious about this is how the issue was one not of
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economics, but of politics. if it were an issue of economics, would not have the omb director the guy who just resigned a few months ago, peter orszag arguing a long explanation in an op-ed piece with tax cuts you either do all of them or none of them. he wants to abolish all of them which makes sense, because it would help the deficit in the long run. however, he says, you don't want to do it now and there's a lot of consensus even among senior democrats, it'd be catastrophic in a fragile recovery to have this huge increase in taxes. so, what orszag is arguing is you leave them all in place for two years and then you abolish them. which is a check argument of an economist. but, obama wants an issue. he wants a class war issue and this is the one he's got and he pretends that the tax cuts that the bush administration instituted are that the cause
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of our check collapse, which is something that is really not a credible argument and i don't think any serious economist believes it. >> bret: juan on the tax cut issue there are a number of democrats who come out and say they want a temporary extension, they include senators nelson from nebraska, senator joe lieberman from connecticut and evan bayh indiana and senator from north carolina and there's the list and you heard charles mention peter orszag the former omb director and doesn't count the house democrats speaking out about it. what about the issue on the democratic side of things? >> well, i think this week, this press conference sort of capped a week of the president becoming aggressive in terms of delivering an economic message intended to counter what the message the negative critical message that has been coming from the republicans, i guess, since he took office and i'm glad to see the president's finally engaged on the issues. it's time. now, what you're seeing from some of these democrats, such as the ones you just put on the screen, bret, is that they are reluctant at this point to
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try to fight the onslaught of republican criticism on the whole idea whether or not you should give a tax break to the highest earners in the country. >> don't you think they're basing that decision, including the former omb director, on a shaky economy and this is the wrong time as the president said last year, to raise taxes on anybody, at least for the temporary contract. >> no, i think it's politics. i think that what we're seeing here is that in the case of orszag, i think charles turned that argument around. orszag is concerned about deficits. he wants to do away with the whole thing in two years. here is president obama saying he wants it retain the tax cut at a very high cost, i might add, for 97 or so percent of americans even for those who make 250. the first 250 they earn would be free of taxes under the president's initiative, but again, the president has lost so much of this argument. and i don't know if he can be heard at this point. and i think that's why you see those folks jumping ship. i mean, when the president was asked today, what about your stimulus? we can't get anybody in the
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white house to say that it's a stimulus. >> bret: let's listen to this real quick. >> this is a second stimulus. (laughter) >> you know, here is how i would-- there is no doubt that everything we've been trying to do, everything we've been trying to do is designed to stimulate growth and additional jobs in the economy. >> so that little laugh, juan, was kind of yes. >> but you notice, it was so, so silly. he couldn't say the word stimulus. we want to be stimulative. our entire agenda is to stimulate the economy, but he couldn't say yes, it's a stimulus. believe me, it's a stimulus. >> steve, juan mentioned the costs of extending the tax cuts. as you put up the joint committee's cost of these things for the middle class, it's 3 trillion dollars over ten years to pay for that, and for the top earners, it's 700 billion dollars. the president's spent a lot of time talking about 700 billion dollars, but hasn't said
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howle' he'll pay for the 3 trillion. >> that's right, it's not just the joint tax, it's the joint committee the budget office the first 20 months of the president and the white house has relied on for the estimates and put the figure at 2 trillion dollars for quote, unquote middle tax cut, but what's interesting to me, you look back, the president's clearly having trouble making this argument because all of a sudden, people who earn $200,000 in a year are a millionaires and he's flaying and he can't make a sustained argument. he's contradicting himself on the question of raising taxes in recession. if you go back to the campaign, this is a guy who campaigned making an argument that the bush tax cuts are for the wealthy. he said well, they weren't for the wealthy they're for 98% of the country and we'll keep those in place we'll take the margins, the wealthy, 2% we think their taxes should go up. it's a total reversal of the
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argument he made a year on the campaign trail. >> and a take on it as slightly deceptive. he portrays it a cut in taxes on the idle rich, millionaires who sit around. in fact, half of small business income in the united states will end up in this bracket. it will have its taxes raised by about 5%, which is, which is relatively large. and small business, as everyone knows, is the engine of hearing in the country, as obama himself has said and it's wrong with the-- >> what the white house says is, i mean, you guys are saying, wait a minute, don't raise taxes at a time when the economy is on shaqi ground and then you say, oh, but in fact, he's endorsing what president bush did. well, yes, he's endorsing it at this time. >> it's not just raising taxes in the abstract. you're raising it on precisely on the people in the economy who hire--
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>> and said today, as the president said today, the stimulative effect of giving tax cuts to those folks has not been demonstrated that it will have greater benefit than giving tax breaks to actual-- >> these are the engines are economic growth and what the president is talking about doing is taxing them at a higher rate and then giving them these sort of, these tax cuts if they do the things that he wants them to do. so if they buy new equipment, they can have the accelerated depreciation, if they washington this way, they can get a tax break, do this get a tax break. thises not his money. this is not the government's money, this is their money. why not let them keep it and spend it the way they want since they're the ones who run the business. >> bret: there is another panel. more after the break, including the mosque at ground zero and the war on terror. stay with us.
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>> with respect to the mosque in new york, i think i've been pretty clear on my position here. if you could build a church on a site, you could build a synagogue on a site, if you could build a hindu temple on a site then you should be able to build a mosque on the site. we are not at war against islam. >> bret: president obama answering questions on the mosque as well as the koran burning down in florida. now, talk about that, this is supposed to be the friday lightning round and charles did went the votes. >> i did, but in the spirit of comedy and respect for the office of the presidency, i yield the prerogatives i have to the wild card czar and yield the balance of my time to the president. in fact the whole damn segment, have the whole thing. >> bret: with that we move on
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to, what about this, steve, that he's been clear? i think there are some people who said if anything, he hasn't been really clear about the wisdom of whether that mosque should be near ground zero. >> i don't think he's been clear, but i thought, actually thought that the answer he gave in response to the last question about the mosque was a very strong answer and at times, actually very moving. he spoke about muslim soldiers fighting alongside american soldiers. he spoke of muslim school children going to school with the rest of the school children in america and why should they be treated differently. i think it's a strong answer even though i don't agree with him at all on the substance of the mosque issue. what troubles me is the obviously tension there is between what he is describing in the case of the mosque, and what he is prescribing in the case of the koran burning. in both cases, it's permissible, virtually everybody agrees it's permissible for the mosque to be built there or for the
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koran to be burned, but president obama is weighing in on the koran burning and saying, you shouldn't do this because it's insensitive. and he described, i think, quite eloquently who it's insensitive to. what we didn't see from the president today is him making the same case on behalf of the victim's families of 9/11. where was that passion? he was passionate about the effect on muslims. where was the same passion about the 9/11 families. >> i think steve is exactly right. i think the president spoke eloquently about our national virtue, our idea of religious tolerance and the fact that there's a constitutional right for people to build this place, this mosque there. he could have said that it wasn't quite at ground zero. he spoke about the extraordinary sensitivity of the people who saw their loved ones die on that day. but i thought that he missed an opportunity here to say, you know what, in just the way that we've talked about this man who threatens the hideous act of burning korans, we should talk about in the
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muslim community having some sensitivity to those, if not everybody who died, relatives died at 9/11 on 9/11 who feel this way, but some feel it's somewhat offensive and maybe we should be sensitive. i thought the president had an opportunity there to speak in a way you know what, healing is very important in this moment. just as important as anything else. >> bret: charles. >> i thought he was very subtle and clever the way he tapped into sentiment. i think that's the theme of this discussion. what he did, he had spoken earlier about the rule of law, about the first amendment and about rights. but then he added this element about imagine the feelings of muslim-americans and i think he was cleverly countering the p argument that the opposition made, what about the feelings of the 9/11 families, a lot of emotion on that side of the argument and he think that by speaking about another set of americans who have senstivities, he was countering it in a way that i think was retorically effective. >> bret: i happen to think the
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argument about the sensitivity of the families of 9/11 is not one i would invoke. i think it has to stand on its merits. if the only people in the world trade center had been orphans who didn't have any families, i would have the same position about the mosque. i think it's a question of sanctity. i think it's a question of respect for the memory of the dead and the way in which they died. that, i think, is the main issue, but with the opposition using sentiment, i think the president was smart to counter it essentially with an argument of sentiment of his own. i think in that sense he really helped his side up until that argument, his was a cold and sort of constitutional one which didn't have a lot of appeal. >> bret: that is it for the panel. stay tuned for enthusiastic campaign speech. host: could switching to geico really save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance? was abe lincoln honest? mary: does this dress make my backside look big?
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abe: perhaps... save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance?really host: is having a snowball fight with pitching great randy johnson a bad idea? man: yeah, i'm thinking maybe this was a bad idea.
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[ male announcer ] ever have morning pain slow you down? introducing bayer am, an extra strength pain reliever with alertness aid to fight fatigue. so get up and get goin'! with new bayer am. the morning pain reliever. >> bret: finally tonight, we have 53 days to go until the midterm elections. things are heating up for many
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different races, senate, house, state races, even local county races. this ohio republican really, really wanted to be county treasurer. >> my name is phil davidson. and i am seeking our party's nomination for the position of stark county treasurer. i have been a republican since i was good and i have been a republican since i was bad in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. this is the opportunity we have been waiting for! drastic times require, what? drastic measures! yes! who said that? thank you! drastic times require drastic measures! tonight i'm a candidate seeking nomination for the position of stark county treasurer. i hummably asking ask your your votes of the stark county republican executive committee, thank you.

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